nep-cis New Economics Papers
on Confederation of Independent States
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
four papers chosen by
Koen Schoors
Ghent University

  1. The ownership of industrial land in Russian cities: Explaining patterns of privatization across regions and firms By Pyle, William
  2. Educational Scores: How Does Russia Fare? By Amini, Chiara; Commander, Simon
  3. Employment Concentration and Resource Allocation: One-Company Towns in Russia By Commander, Simon; Nikoloski, Zlatko; Plekhanov, Alexander
  4. Institutional Change and Economic Development in Siberia and the Russian Far East By Judith Thornton

  1. By: Pyle, William (BOFIT)
    Abstract: The voluminous literature on the privatization of Russian industry overlooks, almost completely, the story of enterprise land rights – a story that does not jibe well with the standard narrative of post-Soviet reform. This paper explains the path that has led to significant inter-regional variation in the ownership status of lands underneath urban industrial enterprises. It then introduces unique data from a survey of 359 large industrial firms across several dozen of Russia’s largest cities to explore why some firms have purchased their production plots whereas others continue to lease or hold these lands under the old Soviet system of tenure. In exploring both inter-regional and inter-firm variation in land rights, we find evidence consistent with the proposition that the decisions of regional officials and (the managers and owners of) firms are guided by securing rights over real estate rents.
    Keywords: urban land; property rights; Russia
    JEL: K11 L60 P26 P31 R33
    Date: 2011–10–20
  2. By: Amini, Chiara (University College London); Commander, Simon (EBRD, London)
    Abstract: This paper uses two large multi-country datasets on educational scores – PISA and TIMSS – to examine the performance of Russia in comparative light as well as the factors associated with differences in educational outcomes in Russia. Despite the perception of a positive educational legacy, Russian scores are not stellar and have mostly deteriorated. Using an education production function, we distinguish between individual and family background factors and those relating to the school and institutional environment. We use pooled data, as well as cross sectional evidence, to look at the variation across countries before looking at within-country variation in Russia. We find – both in the cross-country estimates as also those using just Russia data – that a number of individual and family variables in particular, such as parental educational levels, are robustly associated with better educational outcomes. Institutional variables also matter – notably student-teacher ratios and indicators of school autonomy – but there are also some clear particularities in the Russian case.
    Keywords: human capital, PISA
    JEL: H5 I21 I28 J24 O15 P5
    Date: 2011–10
  3. By: Commander, Simon (EBRD, London); Nikoloski, Zlatko (University College London); Plekhanov, Alexander (EBRD, London)
    Abstract: The paper looks at the effects of employment concentration on resource allocation with a particular focus on one-company towns in Russia defined as towns where a single company accounts for a significant share of total employment of the locality. Empirical analysis of firms' production functions indicates that companies located in one-company towns are characterised by lower marginal product of labour, higher marginal product of capital and lower overall productivity pointing towards significant labour hoarding. One-company town enterprises are also found to be financially more vulnerable. The paper argues that the dominance of natural resources in the Russian economy and employment concentration is closely linked.
    Keywords: employment concentration, one-company towns, labour productivity, Russia
    JEL: D24 J42 R23
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Judith Thornton
    Date: 2011–10

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